Although it seems as though everyone is hiring, many are still without jobs. But the problem may be that people seem to only focus on their resume’s and not their cover letter’s which is a BIG NO-NO. Some employers won’t even look at your resume’ if it doesn’t have a cover letter.
The former Vice President of News, Ms. Edwards, at NBC once told me that if you send her a résumé without a cover letter the application is incomplete and it makes the person look tacky, and as if they put no time into applying for the job.
Some people don’t know this, and I understand, if no one tells you, how will you know. So here are a few tips for your cover letter. If you use these basic tips they should help you to stand out, and make you look good in ink!
1. LOOK THE PART
Realize that your cover letter is like your thirty-second elevator pitch for yourself. You have to look the part, and present yourself like you want the job. Your cover letter is usually the first thing a potential employer sees, so make sure your heading is nice, and your spacing is perfect. Make sure it looks presentable, and as if you spent time on it. Perfection is in the smallest details!
2. CUSTOMIZE IT TO THE EMPLOYER
You wouldn’t want a card sent to you saying “To Whom This May Concern” so don’t put it on your cover letter. People like to feel important and Google and LinkedIn is too amazing for you to not find out who has what position, their phone number, and email and sometimes physical address. Use your resources!
3. TAILOR IT!
You should talk about the position you are applying for and what you can contribute to the company. Nothing should be generic about your cover letter except for your name at the end. Talk about what makes you unique, and don’t be afraid to brag, just don’t go overboard. You’re trying to get noticed! You want to show them that you are the best fit for the job, and that you’ll be a great member of their company family. Most importantly, use words that are in the job description, it’s there for a reason! Those are the key words in finding your application to begin with. Read it and use it!
4. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Do not let your cover letter run over a page. Also keep your paragraphs short! Three to four short paragraphs with two to three sentences each will do. Have things stand out as well by using bullet points. Make sure your bullet points tell your strengths, because they probably will read your opening and go straight to the bullet points. It’s no secret that employers skim your information; no one has time to actually read every cover letter and resume that comes across their desk.
5. NO ERRORS
You don’t want to lose the position simply because you don’t know the difference between: there, their, and they’re, or bored and board. Also, this is not a text conversation! No LOL, HMU, TTYL! Check, recheck it, and have a friend who is business savvy look it over too before sending it out.
Remember, your cover letter is the first hello. Keep it conversational, and let your personality shine through. The job of your dreams await you!
Have you updated your résumé?